Businesses have the responsibility of protecting their employees when they are at the workplace. They should make sure the workplace conditions meet all applicable standards of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the US Department of Labor.
Additionally, businesses should have workers’ compensation insurance to cover injuries that employees suffer while working. Accident prevention is the best way for companies to protect their employees. Here are the things that businesses should do to protect their employees.
Establish a Workplace Safety Plan
Prevention is always better than cure, and one of the best ways to protect employees is establishing a workplace safety plan. The workplace safety plan should contain policies and guidelines on the safe way of performing their tasks. It should also include procedures on how employees can alert management about potential safety hazards and the proper way of documenting safety incidents.
When businesses formulate safety plans, they should identify potential hazards in the workplace. Performing a walkthrough of the premises allows business owners to check for areas that compromise the safety of their employees. They should also review previous accident reports and check how they can prevent these accidents in the future. Additionally, they should work with a safety consultant to help in evaluating the workplace.
Provide Regular Training
Businesses should also provide regular training to their employees, especially if their tasks have potential safety risks. They should also educate the employees about the risk associated with their duties and how to reduce these risks.
For tasks that require heavy lifting, businesses should train employees on proper lifting techniques. The employees should also know the procedures in handling hazardous materials. Providing training to the employees keeps them and their colleagues safe. New and experienced employees should go through the training to ensure everyone is on the same page regarding workplace safety.
Conduct Regular Inspections
Businesses should also conduct regular inspections of their equipment, especially if they are in the manufacturing, shipping, and construction industry. The tools and equipment they use are potential hazards, especially if they are not well-maintained. To ensure they are in good working condition, businesses should check and maintain all tools, equipment, and machinery in the workplace.
They should also inspect company vehicles that field personnel use at work to prevent accidents while they are on the road. Aside from the tools and equipment, businesses should also make sure the workspaces are clean and safe for the employees to work in.
With the pandemic yet to be over, businesses should provide handwashing stations to allow employees to wash their hands regularly while at work. The workplace should also have no clutter or spills that can cause employees to trip and fall. When winter comes, business owners should also make sure the walkways are not slippery.
Require Pre-employment Screenings
Requiring pre-employment screenings is another way for businesses to protect the health and safety of their employees. They should conduct physical and mental evaluations to ensure employees are ready to perform the tasks required for their positions.
The screening should consist of a physical exam, hearing test, vision test, cardiac stress test, and a review of the employee’s medical history. And if the position is labor-intensive, the employee should go through an annual physical checkup. Additionally, businesses should check the background of potential employees.
Review Safety Procedures
Businesses should also conduct a regular review of their safety procedures. Reviewing these procedures allows companies to identify new risk areas in the workplace. It is also useful when businesses acquire new tools and equipment to replace the old ones.
Similarly, when businesses move to a new location, they should review their procedures and check if they need to modify some guidelines to take into account the change in their business address. Updating safety protocols also means that businesses should make sure all their employees know these changes and know what they need to do.
Since businesses focus on protecting their employees while at work, the employees should take care of themselves when they are not at work. In these instances, companies have no liabilities when the employee is involved in an accident that is not related to work. But suppose an employee is involved in a fatal accident while traveling to work. In that case, the business has the option of assisting the family in contacting a reliable attorney for wrongful deaths. The lawyer provides assistance in case the family wants to pursue compensation if there was negligence involved in the accident that cost the life of their loved one.
Protecting the employees while at work is one of the objectives of businesses since their employees are among their best assets for increasing revenues and expanding their reach in the market.